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03 March 2014

IMF expects Ghana's GDP to grow 4.8% in 2014.

GDP growth will reach 4.8% in 2014, Samir Jahjah from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced.

Last week, Christina Daseking from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that Ghana's economy has grown 5.5% in 2013, well below the growth rates recorded in the recent years, due to external and fiscal imbalances and energy disruptions in the first half of the year.

The country's budget deficit also widened to 10.9% of GDP last year, comparing unfavourably with the government's target of 9.0%, as a result of the revenue shortfalls, overruns in the wage bill and rising interest costs, according to Daseking. The large fiscal deficit coupled with a weaker external environment, led to a widening of the current account deficit to 13% of GDP in 2013, further pressuring international reserves, Daseking commented. The depreciation in GCH and higher administrative prices also pushed the inflation to above the government's end-year target range of 13.5%, Daseking said.

The weakening growth momentum and inflationary pressures are expected to maintain in 2014 and if the government fails to implement urgent measures, the IMF sees the budget deficit target of 8.5% of GDP at risk. Current macroeconomic imbalances and weak outlook for gold prices would also keep the current account deficit at high levels, according to Daseking.

Additional fiscal savings are required to address short-term vulnerabilities and to stabilise the economy while supporting private sector development, growth and job creation in the medium-term, Daseking commented. Structural reforms are also required to ensure sustainable fiscal consolidation.

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